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An Uncertain

Future: A Story

Of Blake Martin

An Uncertain Future: A Story Of Blake Martin

Every day children across the country are

removed from their homes and placed in foster

care. Many of these kids have suffered from abuse and neglect, and their road to recovery can be long and arduous.

This is a glimpse into the life of Blake Martin, a

current foster child.

Blake had his first encounter with DCFS at the tender

age of 6, his parents had a domestic violence

incident, and Child Protective Services became involved. This cycle of violence and state intervention

went on until Blake turned 9, and his mother took

him and his younger brother to a women’s shelter to

escape the abuse.

By age 11, Blake was

living in a meth house

and barely attending school.

His mother had fallen

back into her drug

addiction, and the two

young boys were left to fend for themselves

most days.

There was little to no parental supervision.

By age 11, Blake was living in a meth house and barely attending school. His mother

By age 12, Blake was temporarily in the custody of his aunt,

awaiting a decision from the court as to where he was going to live. After many months with his aunt, the court determined that Blake needed daily therapy and supervision, and he was placed in a group home for troubled teens. He had been separated from his brother, the last of his immediate family. He remained in this group home through his 14th birthday. Once

released, he went to a foster home, the first of many.

There were glimpses of hope

when two different foster homes talked about adopting him.

He panicked at the thought of being rejected, so he pushed back by yelling and

doing what he had learned.

The families sent him on to other families. He created

what he feared most,

rejection.

He didn’t know why he

was pushing people

away, or why he was

so scared to trust others.

Blake knows that he is approaching the age where teens must leave their foster homes and learn to fend for themselves. He

fears this stage in his life because he doesn’t feel he is equipped

with a strong support network and the knowledge of how to survive.

“ I just want what other kids have. I want a family… I have a hard time fitting into a

family that isn't going to be mine down the

road.” (Blake)

Utah has a program to assist teens aging out of foster care.

“TAL” transition to adult living helps these teens to find jobs,

affordable housing, and transportation. Many of these teens need more guidance to survive as adults.

Utah has a program to assist teens aging out of foster care. “TAL” transition to adult
Utah has a program to assist teens aging out of foster care. “TAL” transition to adult

"Each year, about 30,000 foster care

youth age out of the foster care system. Many of them exit without finding a stable, affordable,

permanent living arrangement (e.g.,

with family or another household). An estimated 14-30 percent of these

youth will experience at least one

night of homelessness in the first one to three years following emancipation" (Richards 19).

"Each year, about 30,000 foster care youth age out of the foster care system. Many of

According to Brian Campbell, owner and therapist at Light

House Therapeutic Boarding School. “many kids feel alone

and overwhelmed even with programs like these, there is a lack of family type support, and this often ends in children running out to join gangs or becoming homeless because

there is no parental direction.”

Many foster kids have been through a rough upbringing and

struggle to break away from negative behaviors they have

learned.

Blake’s younger brother was adopted by someone in their

biological family. Though he is happy for his brother, he feels

Blake’s younger brother was adopted by someone in their

like no one wants him.

biological family. Though he is happy for his brother, he feels

like no one wants him.

"most teens in foster care will leave the child welfare system by

“aging out” of care without an adoptive family, many without

even having formed a caring, consistent relationship with an

adult." (Ahmann 43)

Despite having so many obstacles and an uncertain future, Blake remains hopeful for a better life

Despite having so many

obstacles and an uncertain

future, Blake remains hopeful

for a better life ...

“I want to play college

football … if I have a family of

m own, I will be a better dad

than I had!”

(Blake)

We can only hope that this

boy finds his “forever family.”

Work Cited:

Ahmann, Elizabeth. "Supporting Youth Aging out of Foster Care." Pediatric Nursing, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan/Feb2017, pp.

43-48.

EBSCOhost,libprox1.slcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=1213536

04&site=eds-live.

CAMPBELL, Brian. Personal Communication, September 13th 2017.

Martin, Blake. Personal Interview

RICHARDS, G. (2014). "AGING OUT" GRACEFULLY: Housing and Helping Youth Transition Smoothly out of the Foster Care System. Journal Of Housing & Community Development, 71(4), 18-21.